Haiti opposition intensifies call for president to step down as car kills six protesters

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A Haitian government car crashed into a group of people on Wednesday, reportedly killing at least six people [Reuters]
(CMC) – Opposition political parties Thursday intensified their calls for the resignation of President Jovenel Moise after six people were killed when a car crashed into a group of people on Wednesday further inflaming unrest in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country.

The Protestant Federation of Haiti (FPH) said it was calling on Moise to quickly convene a meeting of all stakeholders “to allow the country to recover its social cohesion and stability political and prevent once again, foreign intervention on the soil of Haiti”.

Protestors Wednesday set fire to the vehicle after it at least four men and two women were killed when the driver ploughed into the crowd on Wednesday.

The protestors are demanding that President Moise resign for not investigating allegations of corruption in the previous government over Petrocaribe, an oil alliance of many Caribbean states with Venezuela to purchase oil on conditions of preferential payment.

The country has been paralysed by the action of the opposition backed supporters, with schools, businesses and some government offices closed.

The Ministry of Health said it “strongly denounces and condemns” the attacks against the ambulances in all regions of the country, reminding people that the ambulances “are used to provide emergency pre-hospital care, transport any person whose case requires care, to the nearest hospital or health cente”.

It said that under the Highway Code, ambulances are given priority in traffic and that “the drivers, nurses, and first aiders working in these ambulances are mothers and fathers who, day and night, perform their duties with great dedication and professionalism to help the population in all circumstances, in all places and without any discrimination”.

At least nine people have so far died since the protests began several days ago and police spokesman Frantz Lerebours said the body of a young man was discovered on Wednesday while the authorities were clearing street barricades in the southern department of Nippes.

Meanwhile, the Mobile Institute of Democratic Education (IMED) said the protest action underscores the population’s determination to do away with corruption.

“These demonstrations also have an anti-segregationist scope because they aim at the inclusion of all the layers of the population who defend their rights to know the truth on the management of public property”.

IMED said it is in favour of the fight against “corruption and impunity” that has lasted for too long and “because Haiti needs new policies, a new mechanism capable of destroying this system of public office abuses for private purposes in order to restore confidence in public institutions”.

The US-based New England Human Right Organization (NEHRO), said it was also supporting the protest and extended “sympathies to the families of those killed, wounded, illegally and arbitrarily arrested and detained during (the)… protest and demands their unconditional release”.

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